Dixon launches several outbursts against IndyCar race control, Penske (VIDEO)

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Honestly, it’s almost comical how much bad luck has hit Scott Dixon lately. His luck never been great for the entirety of his IZOD IndyCar Series career, but the last two weeks have been a case study in the IndyCar version of Murphy’s Law.

I think a lot of us on the ground were hoping that Dixon’s Sonoma pit incident with Will Power would be reduced to the background this weekend in Baltimore. But as it turned out, that was merely the first ingredient in the cauldron of controversy that is boiling over between these two – and race control.

Friday in practice, the two, naturally, found each other in practice. It was a minor dust-up and the two laughed it off, with Dixon calling Power an “Australian wanker” jokingly on Saturday after the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session.

Sunday it all blew up again. Dixon had already been spun in Turn 1 by Graham Rahal on a Lap 48 restart, but Rahal wasn’t issued a penalty by race control.

And then, as you’d expect, Dixon was just behind Power on the next restart on Lap 53. And of course, Power, who’d got a similar run on the inside of Sebastien Bourdais as Bourdais did to Rahal’s inside, shifted his line to the inside of the course, clipping Dixon and putting him into the wall. It was simply surreal to watch.

The funny thing was, Dixon didn’t seem as mad about the contact with Power as he was with race control for Rahal avoiding a penalty for their contact, and for INDYCAR leaving him on track with a damaged, but possibly repairable, car. It’s not the first time this has happened; it also occurred to him at Long Beach in 2012.

We’ll let Dixon’s official quotes from the Target Chip Ganassi Racing release tell the story from here:

“The No. 15 (Rahal) should have received a penalty (for spinning us) and the No. 4 car (Oriol Servia) passed us on a yellow. So that restart near the end was a complete bosh. On the restart I had an overtake advantage on Power, it must have been in fourth gear, so they can’t complain about wheel spin. Then I got beside him and he ran me straight into the wall. Then, they wouldn’t bring the car back. (Race director) Beaux needs to be fired. He was a complete idiot today.”

Power, for his part, said what he could to apologize.

“The accident on the restart really ended up ruining two good days,” Power said. “I thought I had a really good run on Bourdais and I was going to the inside to get around him and I thought I hit a bump or just lost it on cold tires. I really had no idea that (Scott) Dixon was there. I actually didn’t even know until I got back to the pits and they told me. I feel terrible for him and his team. All I can do is tell them how sorry I am and move on to Houston.”

Further quotes of Dixon’s frustration were found in a report by Stuff.co.nz. In these, Dixon alleged that Power did take him out on purpose and that Penske Racing president Tim Cindric told Power what to say in his post-race interview.

“It was funny on the radio when we were scanning them in the situation when Power was sitting in the pits. Cindric was telling him exactly what to say when he gets out of the car. Cindric’s a piece of s***, which is quite obvious to a lot of people nowadays,” Dixon was quoted as saying.

These are not light accusations, words and claims by Dixon and camp. It’s going to be interesting to see if any further penalties from INDYCAR follow for the outbursts.

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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